It’s the new year and 95% of big box gyms are running some sort of discount to get you in the door.
But what if I told you those same gyms are depending on you NOT being there in a month or two? They’re not worried though…you signed a 12 month contract so you’ll still be paying even though you don’t actually use your membership.
Maybe it’s $10 for 30 days, two months free with a 12 month contract, or 50% off your first three months. However, all of them require a 12 month contract if you want to save that extra money.
You pull the trigger and sign up because you need to get back in shape and you can’t resist a ‘good deal’. But are discount gym memberships actually worth it when you consider where you’ll be a few months from now?
Maybe…but for 83% of people, absolutely not!
When you first start a new fitness program you’re extremely motivated. Your goals are crystal clear in your mind and nothing is going to stop you.
But then life happens. You have to work 20 extra hours this week, or your kid starts her soccer season. Time is tight one day so you let a workout slip. Then two weeks later it’s two workouts that fall through the cracks.
And to be clear this is NOT your fault and I’m not blaming you. It’s natural human behavior, and it’s why most people need help on their fitness journey (or when starting any new habit). It’s why high performers have a coach in almost every aspect of their lives; 99% of us need ACCOUNTABILITY to be successful.
A Flawed Business Model – At Least for You
Big box gyms know about our tendency to fall off the wagon and they actually DEPEND on this behavior. Like the airlines, they intentionally overbook their facility, planning on most people failing. If their entire membership base came to the gym on the same day people would be packed in like a can of sardines.
Their business model is to get you signed up at a cheap rate and lock you into a long term contract. Big box gyms sign up thousands of people for a facility that can only handle a fraction of that number.
Planet Fitness for example has 6,500 members per gym on average, but their facility can only fit a few hundred people at a time. In fact, their business model relies on a max of 17% of their members actually using their facilities on a regular basis.
That leaves 83% of members paying for a monthly membership and never using it. Those members are how big box gyms make money…they’re actually the best members they have!
The Real Cost of Discounts
So after three months of hard work you fall off the wagon completely. Things snowball out of control and a month later you’re right back to where you started before you began going to the gym in the first place.
Good thing you only paid $10/month for your membership!
For $30 you got a round trip ticket right back to where you started and a whole bunch of extra frustration with yourself!
Never mind the non-monetary costs to your life when you stop your fitness routine. When you’re working out and eating clean you’re a better parent, co-worker, and friend. You have more energy to play with your kids. You focus better at work. And you even convince your neighbor to start coming on walks with you. You’re better for everyone around you.
Accountability – The Secret Sauce
At a cheap gym with a steep discount no one is going to notice you’re missing. No one calls when you don’t show up. It’s all too easy to slip through the cracks.
Compare that to a gym like Recursive where 60-70% of members show up on any one day and EVERY member is actively attending the gym. Your progress is tracked in multiple different areas. We do performance assessments to track improvements in strength and cardio, track attendance, and meet with athletes quarterly to make sure everyone is moving forward.
We notice when you’re missing and you’ll get a phone call and email to check in on you. Your friends from the 5:30am class also notice and reach out asking when you’re going to be back.
So after a week away, you’re right back at it and you continue to progress. Six months later you feel and look like a different person.
As an added benefit of a gym like ours we don’t do ANY contracts. All our services are month to month. We want people who want to be at the gym and we want to continue to earn your business. We couldn’t be any farther from a big box gym in nearly every way imaginable.
Is that Discount Really Worth it?
Most people don’t need more knowledge, they need accountability and guidance. And that’s the value of having a coach instead of access to a gym. Yes, we’re a lot more expensive than a big box gym. That’s because we sell results, accountability, and one on one guidance…not access to equipment.
Discounts are great…unless the thing you’re paying for doesn’t actually solve your problem. It’s like getting a ‘great deal’ on a fancy new 55” TV. Sure it’s on sale for $9.99…there’s only one catch – the screen doesn’t actually display anything. Is $10 still a great deal?